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Danger Signs of Pregnancy

Most women will have normal pregnancies with no complications whatsoever. It is important, however, to learn the warning signs that something is wrong. Your doctor or midwife should alert you to potential problems that may be specific to your situation, but the general warning signs apply to every pregnancy, even the low risk variety.

Your midwife or doctor will routinely screen for potential problems throughout pregnancy. The blood pressure and urine testing that is done, as well as other potential tests, will help you know if you are in a higher risk category.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to call your practitioner immediately. They can advise you as to what further steps may be necessary or help you rule out the more serious complications. Delaying care may also make the situation more serious than if care had been begun when you first noticed the symptoms.

Danger Signs in Pregnancy

Symptom Potential Problem Other possible causes
Vaginal Bleeding Miscarriage, placental abruption, placenta previa Hormonal bleeding, Implantation bleeding
Pelvic or Abdominal Pain Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abruption Cyst, uterine growth, ligament pain
Persistent Back Pain Miscarriage, preterm labor Kidney/bladder infection, cyst, normal pregnancy pain
Gush of Fluid from Vagina Preterm labor, preterm rupture of membranes, miscarriage Leaky bladder, watery mucous
Swelling of the Hands/Face Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) Swelling
Severe Headaches, Blurry Vision PIH, Ecclampsia
Regular Contractions prior to 37 Weeks Preterm labor Gastric upset
No Fetal Movement Fetal distress, Fetal Demise Slowed movements, anterior placenta

Other Resources

Is my baby all right?
Ectopic Pregnancy Links
Miscarriage Links
Placenta Previa Links
High Blood Pressure (PIH) Links
Preterm Labor: A Crash Course
Predicting Preterm Labor
Preterm Labor Links
Bedrest Links
SIDS Links

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